We designed Coco Espresso, Bistro & Bar from the ground-up, designing all 3,000 square feet from scratch in the beautiful new Gwendolyn Building, located in the historic Glen Lennox community of Chapel Hill.
Coco is the inspired evolution of Coco Bean, our original award-winning coffee shop & cafe in Chapel Hill, which opened in 2016. Our expansion and rebranding to Coco includes our fully plant-based dual concept: coffee shop, breakfast and lunch cafe by day and restaurant and full bar by evening. (That said, we actually offer All-Day Breakfast every day because some good things should never go away).
We are proud of our amazing bistro menu, as we love creating our delicious, and sustainable, plant-based food and drink options, which include a wide variety of gluten-free or gluten-free available choices, as well. You can see our menu, and order now, here.
Whenever you choose to come, we hope you enjoy either one of our outdoor patios, as well as the overall indoor/outdoor feel of our restaurant, with a front wall of windows that opens up completely to the outside, across from a small green park just out front, and a free parking garage right next door.
Coco is an inclusive and welcoming space, and our menu is deeply rooted in kindness. We offer delicious food and drink in an inviting atmosphere, and our dishes are familiar and unique, refreshingly plant-based and as sustainable as possible. We offer our guests the joyful experience of gathering together to eat great food and indulge in delicious drinks while also practicing care for each other, our planet, and the animals with whom we share it.
We source as many of our foods and drinks as locally as possible. There are many good reasons to do so, but one simple one is that an in-season organic tomato grown down the road tastes better than one trucked in from afar, a coffee bean roasted ten minutes away makes for a fresher espresso - and an award-winning beer brewed by a neighbor certainly deserves to be celebrated right here.
For those offerings not found nearby, we import the best of the foods we’ve sampled for years - from an artisan plant-based creamery in San Francisco, known for its standout truffle brie, to the crispest wine we’d tasted in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. And, of course, the most luscious Italian hazelnut chocolate we’d ever indulged in had to be part of our dessert menu.
Lastly, we believe there is a balance to everything. That is why our menu features a combination of fresh, locally-sourced superfood dishes along with a hearty offering of comfort food favorites and decadent desserts.
At Coco, there are options for every person - and for every mood.
In September of 2016, we opened Coco Bean. At the time it was simply a coffee shop, and coffee was all we did. So we got really good at it. We partner with Carrboro Coffee Roasters and specifically select their "direct relationship trade" coffees, which means our beans come from farmers who partner closely with our roaster. And they stay partnered with them over the course of years, whether they have a rough crop that year or not. That makes for better human connection, elevated crop care, more ethical commerce - and, we can tell you for sure, notably better-tasting coffee.
Enjoying a truly great meal means also indulging in delicious drink. Whatever drink that happens to be is up to you. As part of our intention to be truly inclusive, we offer both a traditional bar menu and a Zero-Proof menu. Our craft cocktails are custom-created for Coco, designed with a botanical bent to celebrate our plant-based menu, and we’ve curated some wonderful wines and tasty beers, including many brewed right here in North Carolina.
Our Zero-Proof menu is designed for all who choose to skip the alcohol but still want to enjoy a delicious cocktail, beer or wine. It’s not that easy to find the best-tasting distilled bourbon that also happens to be free of alcohol. We know because we sampled a lot of options! But we found it, along with a number of other compelling options. So whether the decision is to drink with or without alcohol - or simply dial the alcohol content up or down per each beverage - we have an intriguing menu for you.
Coco’s partnership with Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary has been woven into our culture from the beginning, and we invite you to learn more about this local Hill 501(c)(3) non-profit's commitment to rescuing at-risk animals from shelters or inhumane conditions and creating programs for children in crisis. The owners of Coco, Tamara and Steve Lackey, started this non-profit in 2014, and Coco Bean has given 10% of all proceeds to it since its inception. This will only increase over time.
The goal of Beautiful Together is simple: To connect the vulnerable and the voiceless in purposeful ways that benefit us all.
There are now hundreds of volunteers who work to save lives, promote kindness, and make a significant difference in our community through this growing effort. Learn more and follow along the progress of building out the animal sanctuary on 83 acres in Chapel Hill.